Wait—The Blessing Is On the Way

Are any of you still waiting for a blessing you hoped would come last month, last year, or even earlier? Are you waiting for an answer to prayer you felt certain would have unfolded by now? If so, don’t feel alone. I’m waiting, too.

It’s hard when God’s answers to our desires and dreams are “no” or “wait”. As we wait for the blessing to come, questions can niggle at our minds. Does God hear my prayers? Why doesn’t he answer? Doesn’t he care about me? Is he punishing me for something? We may even feel like he’s forgotten us.

I won’t presume to explain why God’s answers are what they are in your life or mine, but we’re all acquainted with the character growth that can take place as we learn to wait on him and trust him in every circumstance. However, knowing growth will come doesn’t necessarily make the wait any easier, does it?

Maybe an example from scripture about a delayed answer could provide some encouragement or fresh insight as to why we may have to wait at times.

In the tenth chapter of Daniel, we read that God had given Daniel a revelation, but Daniel didn’t understand it. He prayed and mourned for three weeks, asking God to give him understanding of the vision. At the end of the three weeks, Daniel had another vision of a man, a messenger from God (an angel or possibly even Jesus), who came to give him God’s answer.

The man told Daniel, “Since the first day . . . your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (10:12 NIV) He went on to tell him that a demon had resisted him for twenty-one days. One of the chief angels came to help him, though, and the man was now there to give Daniel the understanding he sought from God.

From this passage we see that sometimes delays to our prayers happen because of struggles and battles going on in the spiritual realm. This may not be the reason for your current season of waiting on God, but it could be a possibility.

Whatever the reason you find yourself in God’s waiting room, take heart. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hears you. And the answer—the blessing—is on the way.

“‘When you first started praying, an answer was given . . .’” Daniel 9:23 NCV

*What blessings have you seen in your life after waiting on God?

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by mmartinsson, Creative Commons License

Portal of Hope: Beauty and Blessing Await

It’s not too uncommon to see rays of light shining from behind a dark cloud on overcast days, reminding us that indeed the sun is still there and will eventually break through. Such a sight offers us the extra encouragement we need to hang on until the dreary weather—or current unhappy life circumstance—passes. Those rays of light impart hope, don’t they?

The more unusual sight happens when hope pierces the clouds and forms a window, a portal to the blue skies beyond. We see not just a whisper of light but instead a crystal clear view of the beauty awaiting us. We see the azure glory behind the clouds.

And even though the window view may be small, it’s still an invitation to come and see, to look through the portal and take hope in what lies ahead—to put our trust in God and wait for his perfect timing in giving the promised blessing.

So when the skies of our lives hang low with dark clouds or when overcast days color our existence, let’s remember to look for the portal of hope. All it takes is a small window view to revive our hope for a better tomorrow. For as blue skies eventually break through the clouds, so also blessing comes to those who put their hope in the Lord.

“. . . I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23 NIV

*For what situation do you need to look for the portal of hope and trust God?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out Feb. 4th. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Winter and Life Extremes: A Time to Hunker Down

Do you get any of winter’s deep freeze days where you live? You know, those days that start in the single digits or below and if you’re lucky climb well into the teens? We shiver our way through days like that each winter here in southeast Kansas. And I am not a fan.

In fact, I’m not a fan of winter in general, but I must admit, like everything else, winter has its perks. One of those perks for writers like me unfolds as nature speaks something new to us, something we can share through the written word. And sometimes those words come out as poetry.

So here’s my latest poem, friends—inspired and served up by Old Man Winter himself. I hope it blesses you. Even if you shiver a bit while reading it!

A Time to Hunker Down

We all notice the day
when winter blows in,
when autumn’s refreshing nip
takes a frigid turn.
Jackets and sweaters give way
to gloves and down,
and we all settle in
for Old Man Winter’s stay.

And then one night
the cold becomes colder
and we’re plunged into
deep freeze days,
days when nature itself hunkers down,
when nothing moves or makes a peep,
when frozen silence is all we hear.
Yes, nature holds its breath,
shuts down and waits it out.
The bitter extreme calls for a break.

As ever, we can learn from nature.
Let’s take our cues, follow its lead
when bitter extremes hit our lives.
We too might benefit
by stepping back and taking a breath,
by getting quiet and waiting on God.
We too may need to hunker down,
we too may need to take a break.
And one day the sun will come out,
one day sweet life will go on.

“. . . ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:31

*When have you had to hunker down?

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Never Give Up in Prayer

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“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Have you ever felt like giving up in your prayers for a certain person or about a particular issue? Maybe his or her heart seems too hard to ever desire a change or maybe that issue seems impossible and beyond all reasonable hope. You may feel like your prayers aren’t making a difference at all.

We’ve probably all experienced discouraging thoughts like these at some point or other. When we grow discouraged, when we grow weary in our prayers, let’s remember that “…nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:47)

The next time we lose heart, let’s be honest with the Lord and ask him to refresh us. Let’s share our burdens with one another and encourage each other. Let’s determine to keep looking for the harvest. Let’s determine to never give up.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

*Is there something or someone I can join you in prayer for today? Please feel free to share in the comments.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter which includes a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from January 2011 was a blessing to you today!

*Flickr photo by ^@^ina (Irina Patrascu Gheorghita ), Creative Commons License

Blown Away by the Blessing of God

IMG_7811Most of you have heard our big news by now, but for those of you who haven’t, we’re going to be grandparents again—to another set of twins!! You heard me right. Twins again! After waiting and praying with Kristin and Shawn for years, God blessed them beyond our wildest hopes and gave them twin baby boys, and now we’ve got another miracle unfolding with our other daughter Kelli and her husband Jake!

Kelli bravely and beautifully shared their miracle in progress on Facebook earlier this month and has given me permission to share it here as well. May their story bless and encourage you!

“This is going to be a long post, but I feel I need to share every word of it. Some of you may know, Jake and I have been trying to get pregnant for a long time now. I get teary-eyed thinking about how tough the last three years have been. Every month we hoped and prayed, and every month we were disappointed. We tried to remain faithful, telling ourselves God had a plan, but you can’t help but wonder why God would put you through such a terrible experience. The worst part was answering the same question over and over, “When are you guys going to have some kids, what are you waiting for?”

About a year ago we decided to get help and started seeing a fertility specialist in Kansas City. After some tests and minor procedures, I got pregnant in October. I had a positive pregnancy test on a Monday and miscarried by Friday. It was the toughest week of the entire journey.

After the miscarriage, we decided to take a break from the doctors and the procedures and enjoy the holidays. The plan was to wait until the beginning of the year to decide whether we should keep trying, or start the adoption process. If we kept trying, it would require some more serious medical procedures.

In early December, our pastor gave a sermon on the birth of John the Baptist. His mother, Elizabeth, was barren, but maintained her faith and was eventually blessed. I fought tears the entire morning. At the end of the service, Bro. Aaron asked to pray with us. We had never told him of our struggle, he just told us he felt lead to pray with us, but didn’t know what to pray for. At this point, I lost it. I briefly told him about our troubles and we said a short prayer.

Two weeks later I knew I was pregnant before I even took a test, even though we hadn’t been to the specialist in months. The initial blood work confirmed it! The numbers were much higher than they were in October. After four weeks of anxiety, we finally had our first office appointment. Right away we were able to see a little squirming baby and hear its precious heartbeat. Then we saw the second heartbeat. That’s right, two heartbeats, two babies!!!

Our journey over the last three years is proof God answers prayers, but he does it according to His plan, not ours. Sometimes you even get twice what you prayed for! We continue to be cautiously optimistic, but wanted to share with everyone the miracle God has done in our lives, and celebrate these two lives. We appreciate the continued prayers.”

And now back to me—and what can I say except that we are all blown away by the blessing of God! Completely, undeniably blown away by his mercy, by his above and beyond blessing in our family’s lives. Long-term heartache for both of our daughters and their husbands—and us as well—turned to joy unspeakable. Our hearts overflow is almost an understatement!

As you join in our joy and praise to God, will you join us in prayer as well? Will you pray that all will go well with Kelli’s pregnancy and that the babies will grow and develop as they should? They are due on September 7th, but most twins come a few weeks early. I will be one busy grandma with one set of twins about an hour away and another set nearly six hours away! Busy, but extremely happy—and tired since I will also be trying to market my first book! Someone pass the vitamins, huh? LOL

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:2-3

*When have you been blown away by the blessing of God?

*My photo